or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Another Nathan Hall? - Page 3

post #61 of 115
I'm with Glytch on this one. While we all agree on skiing responsibly and safely Murphy's law being what it is makes the possibility of true accidents (ie no one acting in a reckless manner) all but unavoidable. It may be that the facts surrounding the case indicate cause for legal action but I can envision a number of possible scenarios where collision can occur despite the best intentions of all involved. Not being a good skier myself I stay far from better and lesser skiers when possible but sometimes crowds make things interesting. One momentary loss of control, ice, clump of snow, loss of balance and you could be into someone in a heartbeat. Remember the thousand monkeys typing for a thousand years and one of em creates Shakespear. I think reckless skiers and boarders should be taken off the hill period but I do accept the possibility that sometimes, sh!t happens. BTW I have never hit anyone yet though I've nearly been hit several times and my wife got clocked 3 weeks ago. skidoc
post #62 of 115
I suspect that many of us have been involved in auto accidents. In your experience, is it common for the at-fault-driver to be arrested for assault or reckless endangerment? No? I thought not.
Keep in mind that in Ohio you very well could be. Ohio is the only state to be doing with auto accidents what Colorado is doing with ski accidents.
post #63 of 115
No Charges.

The District Attorney announced this morning there would be no charges brought against Mr. Wills. The District Attorney stated no evidence exists that support criminal action. He said the one witness they could interview about Mr. Wills skiing prior to the accident felt he was skiiing in control. Interviews with patrollers, medical personnel and others were also conducted. Mr. Wills has been released from custody.

This accident has spurred a needed debate as to the level of crowds on the slopes today. Here's a link to the Summit Daily article on this subject.

http://www.summitdaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Site=SD&Date=20030306&Category=NEWS&ArtNo= 303060101&Ref=AR .
post #64 of 115
Another type of close call.

My son and I were both in control. Only one other skier on the same run, he is a buddy. My son skis off first, on skiers right making big arc's at speed. I take off second, on skiers left skiing the edge making small turns, at speed. As murphy's law would have it, we both try to use, close to but luckily, not to close, the same piece of snow at the same time. He was outside my vision in my turn to the right, I was outside his vision in his turns to the left. When we both went to make our next turns, my left, his right, we were close. It scared both of us, and yes we do wear helmets, always. We were both focused on our oun turns, in control. If we would have hit would it have been my fault because I started second?
post #65 of 115
Confirming an earlier report, the DA has decided not to file charges - the right result in my view. I'm sure, however, that spending four+ days in the clink, thousands of miles from home, was not terribly convenient for the Brit. I don't mean to understate the enormity of the tragedy, but if I have to worry about getting jailed, with or without probable cause, any time I get involved in a collision on the slopes, then I might drop this sport. The intersection of the American legal system and the ski industry has not done anyone any favors in this instance. Now, I suspect, the ski area will have to sweat out a possible legal action by the improperly detained Brit.
post #66 of 115
Counterpoint to the Summit Daily article...

Ski Safety
post #67 of 115
Interesting. Thanks shifty.
This all bonds well with my thread Novices, when, where, with whom, alcohol on the slopes and so forth about a law being
discussed in the Italian paliament...
The PMs (amongst them one was the italian FISI president, and is
a ski instructor) are using the same arguments as the newspaper
(sensationalism, tragedy, and so on), and AFAICR, not much
about facts and real data.
There's a feeling of foreboding, in the italian forums...
especially amongst boarders.
post #68 of 115
Originally posted by Skidmo:
Instead, being in control means that you avoid downhill skiers with an adequate safety zone. Picture each skier with a 15-20 foot circle around them and its the uphill skier's responsibility to avoid entering that safety zone (which zone is obviously moving).

Before I'm flamed for proposing something that's not enforceable, I'm not advocating for a system that is enforced based on actual feet from a skier. Instead, I'm trying to come up with an educational method for teaching skiers what it means to be in control with respect to a downhill skier. (I'm picturing one of those safety posters with a picture of a big yellow circle around a down hill skier).

Near misses don't constitute "in control" for purposes of the Code.
Skidmo, I like the above statement. I'd add that 10+10 feet
(my half of the safety circle, and the other skier half safety
circle line) seems a bit too close for my liking, considering
the speed soem of us are moving around the hill, and especially how things go horribily fast whne something wrong happens (20 feet can be covered soooo quickly)
I like to think as myself into a safety zone which a diameter at least double as that (35-40 feet) below that, either I change direction, or slow down, or stop and wait. Nevertheless, it happens sometimes, when I get well below that range, in which case I become very, very nervous...unless the skier I'm closing
onto is a person of whom I know very, very well the skiing skills (and as such I tend to think I'm able to foresee his intentions/directions) like when we ski in formation with a buddy (one behind or besides another). But that's not what we're discussing here.
post #69 of 115
While reading a Canadian newspaper I found laying on a table down at H.V. the other day, I read that a Lady was killed at a Resort in Ontario last Sunday. She was run over and buried by a grooming machine who was doing some trenching work to a slope for a charity event. The tradegy was witnessed by the womans daughter who tried to wave off the grommer but was ignored b the driver. What was even more appauling to the reporter and witnesses was the fact that the resort remained open to skiing while the tradegy was being investigated. The area where the accident occurred was tapped off until the investigation was over. (Big Deal) The woman who was killed just happened to be a lawyer and a former court judge.

No charges have been filed.

Should there have been? Should the resort have shut down for the rest of the day. It's a small resort.

Does Canada have N.Y. Lawyers there to Sue?

How stupid is this whole thing? Any of our Canadian Bears know about this and what are your comments?
post #70 of 115
I may be going out on a limb here but, Lets see "didn't she see or hear the GROOMER" or are the groomers really that small in Canada. Again "how do you protect people from themselves". I know in Canada they are not as Safety minded as we are here in the US (thats one good thing about all the law suits). But for someone to be skiing close to a Snow Cat is rather......lets just said I rather ski somewhere else.

[ March 07, 2003, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: smithby ]
post #71 of 115
Originally posted by ShiftyRider:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />[edited to fix attribution]Originally posted by altagirl:
Put me in the group where if it comes to the point where I feel I could be risking jailtime for an accident regardless of the circumstances I won't be skiing at resorts anymore.
Me, too. I definitely will not ski in Colorado at this point.

What we have, according to the latest reports, is only one witness. The deceased's son said the accused skied into the deceased at 10-20 mph. The deceased was said to be skiing 5-10 mph. The "weapon" (tree), unlike the Nathan Hall case, did not belong to the accused. The accused invoked his Miranda Right.

The accused has now been incarcerated for what, four or five days now?
</font>[/quote]Ryan Henrichs, 28, of Denver, earlier told reporters he saw his father moving slowly down the slope and then saw another skier uphill, traveling fast.

Hurlbert said Thursday that Ryan Henrichs saw his father "in the last split second" before the collision, but when questioned repeatedly by investigators, he wasn't as confident about the skiers' positions on the hill.

Ryan Henrichs declined comment Thursday.

The accident occurred at the junction of two trails, Hurlbert said.

[excerpted from the Rocky Mountain News.]

So based on that, we had an innocent man sitting in jail for five days. Unbelievable!

Boycott Colorado Skiing!

[ March 07, 2003, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: ShiftyRider ]
post #72 of 115
Lets see, The guy gets locked up for a week and not charged with anything then he faces a "civil suit" even though the law finds no grounds for charging him ..... mmmmmm

Will someone please explain to me the legalities of this process???

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #73 of 115
I heard the Colorado case against the Man from England was dropped.

On the Ontario incident, the groomer was digging a tranch for a charity event. Pond skimming I believe. The lady, unknowingly, skied into the trench. Unseen by the groomer, she was then run over and buried by snow.

post #74 of 115
I'm not so sure about innocent, there was a collision & a man died, they showed the tree the man hit on the today show thursday morning when they did the story, it was in the middle of the trail & not another tree nearby just lke a snogun or lift post, now without actually witnessing the accident it is going to be almost impossible to assess what really happened, when trails merge the uphill skier verses downhill skier gets confusing as to who has the right of way, which trail is the main trail, to make things worse breckinridge probably has more trails that intersect greens blues & blacks than most ski hills, thats one of the reasons I don't like breck, one minute your ripping a black the next your poling across a green amongst beginner skiers, when I skied with snokarver in feb he said that was one of the good things about breck because you could be skiing greens with the family duck down a blue or black & catch back up with the family instead of being bored skiing greens all day, from the reports of the mans injury's this was quite a collision, I ski faster than most people but I do ski in control the funny thing about accidents just like with autos there is such a thing as skiing to fast for conditions weather because of crowds, conditions - ice or visibilty, I have never hit anyone but have been hit by another skier on my last 2 ski trips, both times I was the downhill skier, no matter what your view it seems like there are to many people skiing out of control that don't understand the code, when I got hit in feb I was skiing a green at keystone with my 6 year old doing about a 20 foot sweep behind him in the middle of the trail leaving plenty of room on both sides for the experts when this idiot clocks me from behind & blames me because I was skiing all over the place as he put it, he didn't have a clue, so this is what you take your family skiing for, if you think that assumed risk means likely to get ran over or killed then you will see skiing go away as people won't want to take that risk, copper seemed to be trying more than most with the ski fences in the slow areas that you have to ski thru, the ski hills had better get a grip, there might not have been enough information to charge the brit but that does not mean he was not at fault.
just my rant bteddy
post #75 of 115
The issue that seems to be forgotten here is that the most important premise of law; is innocent until proven guilty. If as, I understand it, : Colorado treats ski slopes as extensions of the highway or any other location where the law applys, then these cases are criminal rather than civil and the authorities have to apply the same standard of proof. They cannot put someone in the slammer for four days while they work out what happened. If there is the slightest doubt then that person should be released on bail whilst the facts are established. This case has attracted a huge amount of pubilicity in the UK and there may be an unwillingness to go to Colorado if their regime is seen to be more severe than other destinations.
post #76 of 115
This is a circumstance where I don't think a criminal conviction would have served the desired purpose. I agree, we all need to be careful on the slopes. But the guy surely learned his lesson. I wonder if he will ever ski again. I know that I would feel horrid to accidently kill someone. That is punishment enough in my mind. It would be one thing if it was intentional. In the limited amount that I have read, this does not seem to have been.

post #77 of 115
I actually think that the most dangerous yahoos on the hill are the ones who swoop up to the liftlines too fast and wipe out the folks standing there who have nowhere to go and who aren't expecting to get hit. I've seen this happen three times in the last two years.

[ March 08, 2003, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Zeke ]
post #78 of 115
This case has attracted a huge amount of pubilicity in the UK and there may be an unwillingness to go to Colorado if their regime is seen to be more severe than other destinations.
Not so much a matter of press and perception. It is fact. Colorado Law is much stricter than other states in this regard. In Colorado, negligence can be a crime whereas in other states it is not even a tort.

P.S. bteddy, I can't understand your "writing".
post #79 of 115
So much of this kind of stuff could be prevented if resort staff was not so afraid of "offending" guests by approaching them if they are out of control.
Some resorts do a better job at this than others. I very rarely see human collisions at Sugarloaf, but I did see one this weekend.
i was in a class, skiing down Upeer Competition Hill, which is a black. Thre friends were skiing together, out of control, and did an enmasse wipeout into each other. The instructor told us to wait, and skied up to the guys and told them if that they did not have the skills to be skiing this trail, and they needed to go back to the greens and work on technique before they hurt themselves and others.

Now I'm sure they were very offended, but who cares? Better to be offended than dead.
post #80 of 115

I have been in the position to communicate the mountain management position on reckless activities.

First and foremost is education !

Second is to maintain a positive experience. Skiing is a FUN activity. Your idea of fun may differ from someone elses. (see #1)

If all else fails, enforcement and punishment is appropriate. But, Only when all else fails.

First offenders are treated respectfully, as you would like to be treated.

Repeated ignorance is not well received.


Another's expectations are not my restrictions!
post #81 of 115
Thread Starter 
Snowboarder facing child abuse charges for skiing in to kids
By The Associated Press

Thursday, March 27, 2003 - GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - A snowboarder who allegedly plowed into a group of children in a beginner ski class at Sunlight Mountain Resort has been charged with child abuse and reckless endangerment.

Michael Wolff, 20, of Killeen, Texas, was also charged with possession of alcohol by a minor. He was being held at the Garfield County Detention Center on $15,000 bond.

He faces up to 24 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if convicted.

Authorities said Wolff collided with a line of 5- to 7-year-old children who were taking beginning ski lessons on March 15. One child suffered a broken leg, one a bruised arm and a third had minor injuries.

Witnesses told Garfield County sheriff's investigators that they saw Wolff drinking before the accident and described him as visibly drunk and slurring his words.

Arraignment was set for April 24.

Skiers or snowboarders are required by Colorado law to avoid hitting people skiing or snowboarding in front of or below them.

Hopefully we can agree that a drunken Snowboarder/Skier should be held responsible.....
post #82 of 115
held responsible?

I have an idea or two about how and from where to hold him.
post #83 of 115
"Michael Wolff, 20, of Killeen, Texas, was also charged with possession of alcohol by a minor. He was being held at the Garfield County Detention Center on $15,000 bond"

Yet another embarassment for the Dixie Chics! [img]tongue.gif[/img]

[ March 27, 2003, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #84 of 115
The Nathan Hall incident was before my time, so I looked it up on yahoo by searching "Nathan Hall" and I found something that flabbergsted and scared me.

Police questioned Nathan at the hospital, secretly recording his answers although he was not formally a suspect or being charged with a crime. Even though the deputy admitted to recording Nathan's statement without his knowledge and furthermore turned it on and off at will, the tape was still admitted to evidence in trial. Nathan found out two hours later that Alan Cobb had died and then was charged with reckless homicide.

That's friggin illegal! I can't believe that the judge didn't nail the Police you-know-what to the wall. He may hae been at fault, but since when does that give the police a right to take away his constitutional rights?

New Edit: It MIGHT not be illegal if he was cohearent and had been read his rights, but it's still questionable. As to my views on the subject of this thread. No mater what stupid thing the other guy does, you're at fault if you hit him, unless you've fallen due to a snow irregularity, had a heart attack, or some other catistrophic event beyond your control has caused you to become a human unguided missle. .02

[ March 27, 2003, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: Zacman1987 ]
post #85 of 115
Double post sorry

[ March 27, 2003, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Zacman1987 ]
post #86 of 115
He faces up to 24 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if convicted.

Authorities said Wolff collided with a line of 5- to 7-year-old children who were taking beginning ski lessons on March 15. One child suffered a broken leg, one a bruised arm and a third had minor injuries.

Wow, 24 years and a 3/4 million dollar fine for a broken arm?
That sounds a tad excessive! A question for the lawyers out there. What potential sentence/fine would typical charges for a drunk driving automobile accident that resulted in a victums sustaining a broken arm and other minor injuries carry if the defendant was a 20 year old first time offender? Are skiers (in Colorado) being held to a higher standard?
post #87 of 115
oh for crying out loud!!! didn't we go over this one before?

CO is the only state, 1 out of 50, that has ever enacted a law that requires someone to be always in control of a sporting activity where the whole purpose is to challenge yourself. Someone loses it; hey, bob barnes, have you ever fallen down? if there was anyone in your wake when yu did, I bet you would have a different view on whether you can be sued and/or thrown in jail based on that.

But that's what colorado allows - - - and you have no one to blame but your own cadre of ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers, for that. And one conviction (the hall case), which required a 10 day term, which, by the way - - - I totally disagree with; an accident yes, an annoying cussing kid, yes, but not a crime.

Maddog1959 raises a very relevant point. You don't always see everything while you are skiing, and there are angles and situations where you can get in a collision and never see it before hand.

Bottom line. When you engage in sports, you do so at your own risk. You can't be suing or blaming or getting into 85 reply discussions over common law. There is no more duty for a skier to avoid collisions than there is a ski resort to cover up every piece of rock or wood. And there is no such duty for either. :
post #88 of 115
Hey, this last particular accident is about drunk man
who got into little children on green slope and
injured them. I wish he gets punished.
BTW, I fall almost every other day on slopes because
I challenge myself. But I NEVER got into people.
You must take correct judgment where you may challenge
yourself without injuring others. If you can not do this
so just stay away of slopes.
post #89 of 115

You make several points which I agree with. Sometimes the law seems a bit over the top. But the facts add more to this case than you seem to be acknowledging.

Of course we love to challenge ourselves while we ski. But where is the line drawn between challenging ourselves, and being reckless toward others? Sure accidents do happen. But this wasn't an accident, other than that the boarder didn't intentionally hit the children.

This snowboarder was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time. How does this fit into your definition of challenging? Or was it out and out endangerment? Would you make the same case if he were behind the wheel of a car, and hit this group of children? Did he even have the right to make such a decision, being as he was under age, while allegedly intoxicated?

The law in Colorado was designed to protect everyone's rights, not to infringe upon those of a single individual. And to this end, it requires that you ski in control, so as to avoid others around you. This individual obviously was not capable of doing so, and therefore, should not have been on the hill. But by his actions, children were hurt. Would you condone this same result had he made the decision to operate a car?

The maximum potential penalties stated are, I hope, for shock purposes. They should make you stop and think about what you are doing. Should a person not be responsible for their decisions and actions? And if it goes wrong, accept the consequences?

Will the penalty be imposed in the stated amounts? I'd hope that what ever penalty is imposed(should he be convicted) be measured against the nature of the offense. And if this boarder is truly understanding and repentent for his actions, he should accept the ruling of the court.

Is this different from the Nathan Hall case? Not really, except the degree of injury to the victim. And many around Vail think he got off really lightly.

I think that because children were involved, it has highlighted this case. Imagine if I, at 6'2", 215 #, normally free skiing at 40+ mph, were to hit a 100# person out on the hill. That person would certainly sustain greater injuries than likely I would. You can make the case that the average adult is likely to weigh 4-8 times that of a child. What chance does that child have to protect him/her self?

And in closing, I feel every skier/ boarder on the hill has the right to expect others not to hit them.
post #90 of 115
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by steve_s:

Bottom line. When you engage in sports, you do so at your own risk. You can't be suing or blaming or getting into 85 reply discussions over common law. There is no more duty for a skier to avoid collisions than there is a ski resort to cover up every piece of rock or wood. And there is no such duty for either. :
Steve not sure who/what you’re defending here? Surely you are not suggesting that a Skier/Snowboarder has no responsibility if they act in a manner that is reckless and causes serious harm to others? I am not taking about the casual fall that I do agree has happened to us all at one time or another.

In this most recent case, the snowboarder was allegedly drunk when he plowed into a group of kids. Not unlike the analogy of an auto accident. If that person had been behind the wheel and plowed into a bunch of kids waiting for the school bus would you expect him to be held responsible?

EDIT sorry for the redundency was typing while vailsno pro was

[ March 28, 2003, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: Kima ]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion